Following disasters like the recent bushfires, you or family members and friends can experience strong feelings of grief or anger, difficulty sleeping, or develop unhelpful behaviours like drinking more alcohol or arguing with people more than usual. You or others you know may develop negative views about the world and yourself. Keep the following messages in mind:
You have been through a distressing experience. There is no right or wrong way to feel or react. Don’t be angry with yourself or others for being upset. Here are some tips to get through the times ahead:
Try to maintain a normal routine for you and your family as soon as possible. Keep busy and structure your day, including regular exercise.
- Allow yourself time to rest if you are feeling tired.
- Share your experiences with people you trust when you can. But don’t feel pressured if you don’t want to talk now.
- Ask for support from people who care about you and whom you trust.
- Let your friends and family know when you are tired, need a break, or want a chance to talk or just be with someone.
- Take time out for things you enjoy doing. It can help lift your mood and may help you keep in contact with people you enjoy being with. Plan ahead so you have something to look forward to.
- If you have children be aware it is normal for them to be distressed. Allow them to discuss how they are feeling with you and try to make yourself available to answer any questions they might have.
- Allow yourself time to adjust. It can take a while to bounce back.
- You may need help from government or community organisations to aid your recovery. It can be hard to manage this when you have a lot of things to cope with. Don’t hesitate to ask for help with the paperwork and other things necessary to get the assistance you require and may be entitled to.
- If you’re concerned about yourself or someone you know, you can seek help from Lifeline – 13 11 14 or 13 Health – 13 43 25 84.